Brenden Aaronson broke a 1-1 tie in stoppage time to give the Philadelphia Union U16 team a 2-1 win over C.F. Monterrey in Generation adidas Cup play on Sunday afternoon.
The goal was the second on the day for Aaronson, who received a ball headed down from Michael Pellegrino in the box, and blasted it past the Monterrey keeper. Right back Nyk Sessock, who wore the captain’s armband for the game, set up the game-winner with a long cross from the right flank that found Pellegrino’s head.
Pellegrino took an elbow to the face early in the second half on a play that ended up being a major turning point. Though initially no card was shown, a review by the Video Assistant Referee resulted in a sending off of Jaziel Martinez.
Up a man, the Union were able to force the issue a little more after conceding a bulk of the possession and the chances to their counterparts from Mexico.
This eventually led to a team goal that will certainly make the coaching staff proud.
The sequence started left back Kevin Escobar sending a ball to the feet of Chad Letts, who left it off for a streaking Aaronson, who then got the ball to Axel Picazo. A through ball from Picazo found the feet of Aaronson after a textbook dummy from Letts in the box and Aaronson didn’t hesitate sending the ball into the back of the net.
The lead was a remarkable one considering how things started for the Union in the first half. Seconds into the game, Monterrey earned a corner and had a chance headed toward goal that Kristopher Shakes stopped with an outstretched save. Shakes had another save in the half and a couple key interventions under intense pressure to keep the Mexican club off the board.
It was sloppy play from the Union that led to an equalizer from Neder Hernandez four minutes after the Union’s breakthrough and the game appeared to be heading to a disappointing draw and penalty shootout when the Union won a free kick in Monterrey’s half of the field. The kick was taken quickly to Sessock, whose left-footed cross ended up creating the game-winner.
With the win, the Union now top the standings in Group B with six points and need only a point on Tuesday against Chicago Fire to clinch a spot in the semifinals in the Premier Division. Chicago Fire beat New England Revolution 2-0 in the other Group B game on the day.